As such these types of definitions are rightly based on objective advantages. That is to say paying real money for an undeniable statistical advantage in an officially competitive play mode. Because of this, to put it simply, paying to have stronger weapons in PvP would be pay-to-win, but paying to acquire a legendary skin slightly faster in PvE is not. This is regardless of the value any individual player places on the speed of acquiring these skins and their place within said player’s “personal victory conditions.” Once again, it is factually impossible to reach even a majority consensus on what is a “fair” or “unfair” rate of PvE cosmetic accusation to dollars spent ratio.
Some players just won’t care about buying skins. Others, like myself, draw the line at paying for specific reward skins but care little about gems-to-gold conversion allowing faster material gathering. Some would reject the concept of any form of impact real world currency might have on the system, and others still would feel that some degree of monetary support of the game should be required for the most prestigious rewards or in-game perks. It is simply not possible to reconcile these differing, yet each equally viable, subjective opinions. And as such high impact monetization decisions that affect the entire game and all players needs to disregard all of these opinions equally; instead basing such decisions entirely upon objective statistical advantages in officially competitive content types only. The only way to be fair is to have every subjective opinion matter equally; not at all.
In the specific case of Guild Wars 2 nothing in the gem store is pay-to-win because nothing therein provides any degree of statistical advantage in a competitive game mode. You could argue this statement based on the gradual cross contamination of PvE and WvW, but WvW is confirmed and designed to be “unbalanced” and by that nature “unfair” to begin with. The only strictly and officially competitive game mode is sPvP, and the gem store has zero impact on it from a statistical perspective. As such Guild Wars 2 is objectively not pay-to-win regardless of the opinions of individual players based on their “personal victory conditions.”
In the end it falls to each player to make the decision if any given game’s monetization system is right for them. And if their subjective desires are not being met, or being contradicted, by that game’s system then it is best for them simply to leave the game rather than unfairly and selfishly requesting these systems be changed to suit their subjective view. And in doing so, it is also only fair, that they acknowledge the difference between a game that is actually pay-to-win, and a game that simply involves monetary systems they don’t like for purely subjective reasons. Put simply saying Guild Wars 2 is “pay-to-win” when what you actually mean is “I don’t like the gem system because people with more money can craft statistically irrelevant skins faster” is not only inaccurate, it is a boldfaced lie.
The thread that inspired this tangent can be found here;
My post starts at the top. If you don't want to read you shouldn't be on an internet forum. Stop being lazy.
MOD EDIT I haven't changed anything in this post, but I just wanted to say this is the best TL;DR I have ever read. Well played good sir and thank you for voicing the mindset needed on a discussion forum.
Edited by Feathermoore, 03 April 2014 - 01:56 PM.